The World Trade Organization has approved Washington tariffs on $7.5 billion (6.8 billion euros) worth of EU goods in retaliation for the bloc’s illegal support of Airbus.
The ruling is the largest arbitration award in WTO history and a landmark moment the 15-year long Airbus-Boeing battle, which threatens to intensify already strained trade relations between the US and the European Union.
The EU immediately threatened to respond to any US move.
“If the US decides to impose WTO authorised countermeasures, it will be pushing the EU into a situation where we will have no other option than do the same,” Brussels said in a statement.
The case began in 2004, when Washington accused Britain, France, Germany and Spain of providing illegal subsidies and grants to support the production of a range of Airbus products.
It has since been mired in the WTO’s complex dispute settlement system, which allows for a range of appeals and other challenges.
But Wednesday’s decision marks the first time the US has been cleared under international trade law to slap countermeasures on EU imports, and the tariffs could be in place by the end of the month.